The Orion

Chico State students spread holiday cheer

Kayla Smith

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For many, the holiday season consists of spending time with family, sipping hot cocoa by the fire and
hunting for that perfect Christmas tree, but some campus organizations are using this time to give back to the less fortunate by volunteering in the community.

Alysen Folkens, president of Phi Eta Sigma, Chico State’s Honor’s Society, said that the organization is heavily involved in leadership opportunities and helps out the community by volunteering whenever and wherever they can.

This year, Phi Eta Sigma will be participating in Chico State’s Needy Children program by delivering gifts to a family in need during the holiday season, Folkens said.

“As a society, we will all go out shopping for what they wanted on their wish list and then all wrap the gifts as a group,” she said. This year we wanted to have an older child around most of our ages in college and someone younger. We got a lovely young family that we can’t wait to help.”

The organization has worked with the Needy Children program before, said Megan Lomax, vice president of Phi Eta Simga.

“So far we have gotten together a committee and have been fundraising on campus to raise money to go gift shopping for the family,” Lomax said. “We’re going to go shopping as a club and go drop them off together. It’s going to be really fun.”

Phi Eta Sigma also worked together to make special gifts for soldiers, Folkens said.

“We just finished sending out holiday cards for the soldiers and those who serve our country,” she said. “We each wrote a little message in a card for them to read during the holidays.”

Communicty Action Volunteers in Education is another organization on campus that is lending a hand and spreading holiday cheer by working with the Jesus Center and Torres Shelter.

Jeff Beltran, the coordinator of the Chico Homeless Ambassadors Program, said that he helped organize a month-long warm clothing drive and gave the donations to those in need during the upcoming chilly months.

“It was really successful,” he said. “ We got lots of blankets, jackets and socks to take over to the Jesus Center.”

The Jesus Center offers meals to anyone who needs help at the time, Beltran said. Tthe Torres Shelter helps get the homeless back on their feet by housing up to 60 men and 40 women in dorm-style rooms.

“The Jesus Center has open arms to whoever needs help, even college students, but the Torres Shelter is a bit stricter and has more requirements,” he said. “ Those in need must be able to pass a drug test and prove that they are going to job interviews in order to go there.”

Volunteering to help out at these locations and donating are ways to get involved, Beltran said.

“Donations are huge,” he said. “Right now, warm clothes, blankets and toiletries keep these kinds of businesses going and are needed.”

Getting involved on campus is one of the first steps toward helping others, Folkens said.

I suggest first getting involved with Chico State by joining a club, organization or group, she said. “Chico State is a wonderful community that loves to help out and volunteer and many of the organizations on campus like to collaborate and volunteer together. Many times, we’re all volunteering at the same events.”

Kayla Smith can be reached at [email protected]theorion.com or @kayla_smith1013 on Twitter.

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The student news site of California State University, Chico
Chico State students spread holiday cheer